KB1283 - Bulk Course Shell Copying Q&A for Instructors

Q: What is "bulk course copying?"
A: During a bulk course copy, several new Moodle shells are created by copying already existing shells. Generally, the bulk copy includes all or most shells in one Moodle category and copies them to another single category. 

Q: Why is this being implemented?
A: The bulk copying of Moodle shells is just one part of the new Moodle shell management procedures put into place to ensure that

  • VCC official data retention policies are upheld
  • Moodle server space is well managed

The chronological way in which Moodle shells are now being organized allows us to bulk copy existing shells to prepare for a new intake of students.

Q: As an instructor, do I need to put in the request for a bulk copy?
A: No, the bulk copy process is handled by your Department Leader and/or Assistant, together with eLearning Support.

Q: As an instructor, how does the bulk copy process change things for me?
A: There will be a few changes:

  • Course shells will be created in bulk well before the start of the next intake, so in most cases instructors will not need to put in an individual request.
  • You will need to decide the best way to handle any changes you make to your course after it has been copied for the next intake (see related question, below).
  • You will not be notified that your course has been created, unless your Department Leader or Assistant chooses to notify you. However, the course shell will show up on your My Courses list.
  • Course reset is no longer allowed. This is not because of the bulk copy process, but is being implemented at the same time.
  • Course naming standards will be more strictly enforced to make the bulk copying process more manageable and efficient.
  • Instructors will no longer be able to change a course name as it appears in Moodle without the assistance of someone in a Manager or Administrator role.

Q: What do you mean by "in most cases?"
A: There will be situations where a shell may not be created as part of the bulk process and therefore the instructor will need to make an individual request. Some possible reasons for this are:

  • the instructor wants a NEW shell, as opposed to a copy of an existing one
  • an additional section has been added unexpectedly
  • an instructor has made significant changes to a course shell after the bulk copy was already made

Q: Why can't we continue to reset a course, like we did before?
A: Resetting of course shells by instructors, although convenient, left the responsibility of following data retention rules up to each individual instructor. There was no way to enforce or monitor this and it also created potential risk of a privacy breech if the instructor did not ensure the course backups were kept on a secure device.

Q: I like my course names to include "AM class" and "PM class." With the new naming standards, can I not still have that?
A: Yes, if you want these or any other distinguishers added to the END of your course name, you can ask your Department Leader, Department Assistant, Program Assistant, or eLearning Support to change the name for you. However, this will have to be done every term, since the name will be reset to the default format when it's copied. Be sure to include the Moodle Course Shell ID if you are submitting a request to eLearning Support.

Q: I've been assigned a course shell that was previously assigned to a different instructor. How do I change the course name so that it now shows my surname?
A: You can ask your Department Leader, Department Assistant, Program Assistant, or eLearning Support to change the name for you. Be sure to include the Moodle Course Shell ID if you are submitting a request to eLearning Support.

Q: When does the bulk copy take place?
A: The copy varies from department to department base on their needs and practices. Speak to your Department Leader or Assistant about this.

Q: What if I want to make changes to my current course after it has already been copied for the next intake?
A: There are a number of solutions to this, but it depends on the quantity and complexity of the changes made. Contact eLearning Support with your specific details so we can suggest the best solution for your needs.

Q: What if I want to start make changes to my upcoming course long before the bulk copy is expected to take place?
A: You can put in a single-shell request using the online shell request form or clone request form, being sure to explain the situation in the comments or details so that we are aware of the special request.

Q: Is there anything else I should know?
A: Yes. When a course is copied, rather than reset, be aware that there are at least two items where the content is not included because it is considered student data. A Glossary and a Forum. If you want the content of these items to be copied to the new course, then there are some special steps that need to be followed. Please contact eLearning Support if you are in this situation and need to know how to proceed.